In this post, we'll explore the most common vegan pantry staples. Always having these items on hand makes cooking a lot easier, healthier as well as more flavorful and varied.
Moreover, by keeping your pantry stocked, you always have something at home that you can cook. So, no more rushing to the store 5 minutes before it closes.
Most of the items on the list are affordable and easily accessible.
Still, there's no need to run to the store and purchase all of them at once. Many you may already have, and the rest you can add little by little.
Also, keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive. Feel free to add and remove items as you see fit.
Alright, let's dive in
Whole grains and pseudocereals
Whole grains are probably the most significant staple in any healthy diet.
If you have gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity, you need to be careful because many grains are not gluten-free. You can learn more about how to eat vegan and gluten-free here.
Here are the grains you should always have in your vegan pantry
- Whole-wheat pasta - different varieties such as spaghetti, macaroni, fusilli, penne, etc.
- Whole-grain rice
- Wild rice
- Whole-grain couscous
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Corn tortillas
- Whole-grain pita bread
Legumes are great to have on hand. They are particularly nutritious and super versatile.
Legumes are a great source of selenium, manganese, zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, fiber, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3.
Moreover, they are an excellent plant protein source.
Further, it's important to mention that you should never eat legumes raw.
If you buy them dried, soak them overnight first and then cook them according to package instructions.
You should also briefly heat sprouts before consuming them.
Also, if until now, you haven't consumed legumes regularly, you need to give your body time to get used to them. Otherwise, you may experience digestive problems and bloating.
To help minimize these initial side effects, you can incorporate spices such as ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cilantro into your dishes.
These legumes should be a part of your vegan pantry staples
- Kidney beans
- Black beans
- White beans
- Pinto beans
- Lentils - different varieties
Spices & Seasonings
Spices and seasonings can make a vast difference in your cooking.
Not to say that plant foods without seasoning taste boring, but with the right seasoning, you can elevate any recipe. So, don't hold yourself back.
Additionally, spices can add nutrients to your meals, which is a nice bonus.
Here are the ones that are good always to have stocked
- Nutritional Yeast - a tasty and nutritious way to make vegan meals cheesy
- Kala Namak - a black salt that tastes remarkably like eggs
- Vegetable broth
- Dijon mustard
- Soy sauce - choose low sodium if possible
- Hot sauce
- Vanilla bean
- Dried Basil
- Black Pepper - ideally in a grinder
- Chili Flakes
- Dried Parsley
- Dried Rosemary
- Curry powder
- Miso paste
- Cayenne pepper
- Mustard seeds powder
- Garam masala
- Dried Thyme
- Dried Oregano
- Himalayan Pink Salt - I rarely use salt, but when I do, it's Himalayan one
On a healthy vegan diet, natural sweeteners are preferred. Instead of refined sugars, choose minimally processed and more nutritious options.
The following healthier alternatives to sugar are great vegan pantry staples
- Agave syrup
- Maple syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Coconut sugar
Vinegar is a great flavor enhancer and rich in antioxidants. It also improves digestion, increases satiety, and reduces bloating.
Some vinegar you should always have in your pantry are:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Rice vinegar
Nuts & seeds
Nuts and seeds are tasty snacks and can be incorporated into vegan dishes in a variety of ways. They also provide essential nutrients and are a healthy source of fat.
Nuts & seeds are characterized by their high content of protein, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium, manganese, selenium, vitamin E, and B vitamins.
Nuts and seeds are also an excellent omega-3 source.
The following nuts and seeds are great vegan pantry staples
- Flax seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Coconut flakes
- Trail mix
- Peanut butter
- Cashew butter
- Almond butter
- Sunflower seeds
- Hemp seeds
I try to minimize canned goods as many are high in sodium and contain other conservatives. Still, they are super convenient, so you may choose to purchase more products (f.e. beans.) canned.
The canned items I keep are:
- Coconut milk
- Canned tomatoes
Dried fruits are awesome because they last a long time and are easy to incorporate into meals. They also make a great and healthy snack.
Here are a few that are handy to have stocked:
- Dried strawberries
- Goji berries
- Dried apricots
When it comes to non-dairy milk, there are many different options available.
Thus, it pays to try various kinds to find out which ones you like and don't like. If possible, opt for unsweetened options.
The ones I use most are:
- Almond milk
- Soy milk
- Rice milk
- Oat milk
Depending on how much you love or don't love baking, the number of staples in this list will vary.
Regardless of where you find yourself, the following items are always useful to have on hand:
- Whole-wheat flour
- Whole-grain spelt flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Chickpea flour
- Cacao nibs
- Cacao powder
Here are some other vegan pantry staples I always have stocked, but don't fit into specific categories, so here is a random list:
- Tomato paste
- Nori sheets - great iodine source
- Cornstarch or arrowroot powder - to thicken sauces, soups, etc.
- Dill pickles
- Pickled jalapeños
This list may seem long. Don't let it intimidate or overwhelm you. Start small and build up over time.
Here are all the vegan pantry staples summarized
You can also print off this list to check off which staples you already have and note which ones you want to purchase.
✨What are some of your essentials/go-to staples? Do you have some that I didn't mention?✨